OVER 85 guests celebrated the launch of a new and exceptional group, that through regular giving, aims to improve the care and support provided to young people with cancer right across the UK.
Dedicated supporters joined Teenage Cancer Trust Founders Dr Adrian Whiteson OBE and Myrna Whiteson MBE, last week to launch the charity’s Founders’ Circle.
The event, which was held at the House of Lords and sponsored by Baroness Ros Altmann, engaged philanthropists, celebrated the group’s members and encouraged new ones to join.
Members of the Founders’ Circle play a vital role in funding the charity’s specialist age-appropriate hospital units, as well as its expert nurses and youth support coordinators, who provide support to 13 to 24-year-olds with cancer around the country.
Adrian and Myrna Whiteson, who founded Teenage Cancer Trust 30 years ago, said:
“Before Teenage Cancer Trust, young people with cancer did not have access to the age-appropriate care and support that we know improves their outcomes and experiences. They would find themselves having treatment next to much older adults or struggling to fit into hospitals beds that were made for children several years younger and several inches smaller.
“Since 1990, and thanks to the generosity of our incredible supporters, Teenage Cancer Trust has provided age-appropriate care for young people with cancer. The Founders’ Circle enables this legacy to continue and ensures young people with cancer receive high-quality care in an environment that’s most suited to their unique needs. We are incredibly grateful.”
During the event, guests heard from a young person Hiral Deugi, who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia at the age of 21. She was supported by Teenage Cancer Trust at UCLH during her gruelling 10 months of chemotherapy treatment, as well as afterwards. She spoke about how Teenage Cancer Trust supported her through her treatment and beyond.
“I jumped at the chance to be on a Teenage Cancer Trust unit. It reassured me that I wasn’t an alien and that there are people my age who were going through cancer.
“My Teenage Cancer Trust Youth Support Coordinator Marlies became a friend. I thought it would be difficult to open up to someone I had just met, but I bonded with her straight away. Marlies taught me that I didn’t need to hide all my emotions and that it was normal and ok to be upset or angry.
“Teenage Cancer Trust are a very rare charity which goes above and beyond to support young people who are facing cancer. Joining the Founders’ Circle is a great way to keep supporting Teenage Cancer Trust. By joining the group, people are making a real difference to young people just like me.”
Baroness Ros Altmann, a long-standing supporter of Teenage Cancer Trust, said:
“I cannot imagine the horror a teenager must feel when going through this traumatic time, just as life should be opening up for them and they are working out what their future holds.
“Myrna and Adrian Whiteson have worked tirelessly to establish this wonderful charity, which has supported young people and their families going through cancer for over 30 years. They had the vision to establish this special organisation, specifically to cater for the needs of young people with cancer, ensuring they do not have to face their illness alone.
“It is a great honour to be part of this group of people who are dedicated to continuing the remarkable work which has transformed so many people’s lives. I hope that others will join us, to support this fantastically worthwhile charity.”